Manchester City’s disappointment in the UEFA Champions League shouldn’t define its 2017/18 season, particularly because of the excellence of the squad in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola‘s second season in England has proven to be an overwhelming success, with the Citizens losing just twice in league action under the watch of the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager.
City’s brilliance has already resulted in a number of record-breaking feats, including locking up the PL title with five matches remaining in the current campaign. However, the Manchester side is far from done, and there are plenty more records that await the Etihad Stadium side.
With a 16-point margin over rivals Manchester United, the Citizens could very easily shatter the record for largest point gap between first and second place. United did that back in 1999/2000 when Sir Alex Ferguson‘s club finished 18 points above Arsenal.
Guardiola and Co. have looked the dominant side since August, and it’s rare for a club to keep up this sort of brilliance for the course of a 38-match season, and yet City has done so with little struggles for the most part.
Pro Soccer Talk decided to take a look at how Man City stacks up against the best PL sides in league history.
Chelsea (2004/05) — Record: 29-8-1 (95 points) — Most points in PL season
Chelsea (2016/17) — Record: 30-3-5 (93 points)
Manchester United (1999/00) — Record: 28-7-3 (91 points)
Arsenal (2003/04) — Record: 26-12-0 (90 points) — Only unbeaten club in PL history
Man City (2011/12) — Record: 28-5-5 (89 points)
Blackburn Rovers (1994/95) — Record: 27-8-7 (89 points)
Man City (Current season in progress) — Record: 28-3-2 (87 points)
Manchester United (2007/08) — Record: 27-6-5 (87 points)
Man City (2013/14) — Record: 27-5-6 (86 points)
Leicester City (2015/16) — Record: 23-12-3 (81 points)
Clubs like Arsenal’s 2003/04 squad, as well as Chelsea’s team the following season have long been seen as the gold standards in the Premier League. In particular, the Gunners because of their unblemished record in the top flight back in the early 2000s.
With five matches to play though, City can squash the points record by winning three of its matches. That feat is very much a possibility for the incumbent champions due to their fixture list over the final month.
That leaves the question though: how good is this Manchester City side?
Very rarely now in soccer do we see a club succeed without having the financial backing of a wealthy owner. That being said, all the top sides in England on a regular basis have that sort of financial support, particularly City, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.
It’s quite uncommon to see a club like Leicester City pull off a sustained success like the Foxes did in 2015/16, which made for one of the most dramatic and appealing seasons since the PL’s inception.
Taking factors like money out of it, Man City has been a machine in 2017/18, and Guardiola’s patience and brilliance in building his squad has paid massive dividends.
The club’s depth is nearly unmatched when trying to compare City’s roster to previous sides in the PL.
This year, City has had to deal with a multitude of injuries, including those to Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and David Silva. There have been others as well, but those four have all been tabbed as key contributors to the City attack over the past several seasons.
Names like Benjamin Mendy and Danilo have been rarely mentioned this year for their respective stints on the injured list, which furthers the impression of the team’s depth and quality of reserve players.
The Citizens haven’t skipped a beat in times of angst though, and the two instance where the club faced defeat this season — 4-3 to Liverpool and 3-2 against Man United — were both incredibly close encounters.
The story of this squad hasn’t been completed yet, but regardless of what transpires the rest of the way, this Man City side will surely remain amongst those of the elite in England’s first division.Follow @MattReedFutbol